MALDEF

MALDEF And Voto Latino Build Momentum For 2010 Census

Rosario Dawson and Wilmer Valderrama join the launch of an interactive, multimedia campaign targeting Los Angeles Latinos

CENSUS 2010
March 12, 2010 – Young California Latinos will be able to act as viral marketers, encouraging their friends to participate in the U.S. Census, as part of a multimedia campaign that includes an interactive mobile application, MALDEF and Voto Latino, partners in the project, announced this week.

Students from the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex Center joined community leaders, Wilmer Valderrama, and Voto Latino co-founder Rosario Dawson to learn more about this innovative partnership to promote the 2010 Census and the web and mobile applications in place to spread the word. The partnership combines Voto Latino’s award-winning web platform and peer-to-peer mobile campaigns, and MALDEF’s trusted brand and longtime service to the community to employ a multi-platform grassroots, mobile, and web campaign to reach Latinos of all ages. The partnership is made possible by the California Community Foundation (CCF) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

To view MALDEF's 2010 Census PSAs, visit YouTube.com/MALDEF.

“Everyone counts in the census and using partnerships to reach young people by communicating with them in ways they are most comfortable is necessary to getting an accurate count,” said CCF President and CEO Antonia Hernández. “If young people understand how important it is to participate in the census, they will urge their families to get involved as well. An accurate count is vital because it will mean more resources for the neediest people in our community.”

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz said, “Because being counted in the Census is so critical to all Latinos and to the communities in which they live, MALDEF is grateful for its strong partners – including the California Community Foundation, Voto Latino, Eva Longoria Parker, and so many others – in working to reach all residents of our nation. The dedication of these partners is testament to their dedication and to the singular importance of having all Latinos be counted.”

School-based organizing forms the core of the partnership. While at schools, MALDEF and Voto Latino will: 1) present educational information about the Census, 2) jointly distribute 25,000 Census-themed iTunes cards that allow recipients to download 25 free songs from major artists such as Pitbull, Mos Def, and Morrissey, and 3) invite students to text “LA” to 738674 in order to participate in Voto Latino's “Text 2 Represent” campaign and download Voto Latino's first-ever mobile application built specifically for this initiative.

The mobile application features a fun quiz about Census facts, video content, and a share feature that allows users to forward it to their friends and become viral marketers of pro-Census data. The more the user shares the application, the higher the users' chances are of attending a secret concert to be held in Los Angeles in April.

The news conference culminated in the unveiling of MALDEF’s and Voto Latino's Census video PSAs. MALDEF's !Cuéntate…Porque Tú Vales! (Get Counted… Because You Count!) PSAs feature famed actresses and civil rights activists, Eva Longoria-Parker and Lupe Ontiveros. Voto Latino also unveiled their “Be Counted, Represent!” PSAs featuring an all-star ensemble cast, including Rosario Dawson, Luis Gúzman, Demi Lovato (Disney's “Camp Rock” franchise), Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Wilmer Valderrama (“That Seventies Show”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”), and more.

For more information on MALDEF’s Census campaign, click here.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund